Tips For Gym Beginners - Part 1

A good gym regime is spread over six days. Basically three days of weight training and three days of cardio-vascular exercises. Let's construct a typical gym schedule for a beginner or intermediate level of exercise.
Monday - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Tuesday - Cardio
Wednesday - Legs
Thursday - Cardio
Friday - Back and Biceps
Saturday - Light Cardio or Rest
Sundays - Rest
One may shift shoulders and triceps to Wednesday along with legs if chest workouts take too long. Workout should be done typically for 50 minutes to 60 minutes depending on one's energy levels. Cardio-vascular exercises can include 15-20 minutes each of using the treadmill, cross trainer, stepper, and cycle. Doing weight training every day will not allow your muscles to relax.
Hence, a one day gap (where you do cardio instead) is necessary to support your muscle growth. This has been suggested by physical training experts too. The best time to visit the gym is morning. But then finally it is up to you. Any time is a good time to exercise. Make sure you eat / drink something before you begin exercising. A banana or two is good enough. If you like to drink protein shakes, make sure you drink the same after gym and not before.
If you are a regular at the gym, you must be aware of the importance of warm-up and cool-down during exercise. Actually these need not be restricted to the gym. One should warm up before starting any exercise and do some cool-down exercises too afterwards.
Make sure you drink water at regular intervals in the gym. Some people prefer mixing glucose based powders in their water bottles. Or some people drink sports energy drinks like Gatorade. Some people prefer drinking lime or orange flavored energy boosters. These drinks give you more of energy and help keeping you hydrated during your workouts.

Tips For Gym Beginners - Part 2

Before you start lifting weights in the gym, you should do some warm up exercises. You can run on the treadmill for 5 minutes, do some push ups and pull ups. You can perform free exercises like aerobics. Do warm up exercises for at least 10 minutes in your gym regime. Doing so will reduce the chances of your suffering an injury. If you don't warm up before weight lifting, chances of getting an injury are very bright.
Similarly after you are done with your weights, you should perform cool-down exercises for at least 5 minutes. This could include stretching of the hands and legs. You could also do crunches or some exercises for your abs. Essentially you are trying to relax your muscles after lifting weights. Stretching is very important in your gym agenda. Make sure you ask your trainer to help you give proper stretching. Stretching exercises differ according to what workouts you did before - for example biceps, shoulders, triceps, back, etc.
Try to do more of free exercises (not involving machines) so that more muscles are involved in your workout. Experts advise people to do 3-4 sets of any workout. Start with less weights and go on increasing the weight with each set. 10-15 reps can be considered as one set.
Number of reps or repetitions will go on decreasing as number of sets increase. Alternatively you can also try to do more reps with less weights. The effect is nearly the same. Keep a gap of a minute or two between each set so that you have enough time to catch your breath. Gym clothes are important.
You should always wear fresh clothes when you go to the gym. If you have a problem of body odour, use an antiperspirant or deodorant before exercising. Wear track pants and a sports t-shirt. The material of your clothes must be able to absorb your sweat. Wear a good pair of sports shoes with ankle length socks. Keep a pair of shoes for the gym separate from your daily wear. Consider wearing a head band or arm band if you sweat too much

Tips For Gym Beginners - Part 3

This is the third and final part of this article in a three article series. Make sure to read part 1 and 2 to become a better gym-goer. Maintain proper hygiene in the gym. Make sure you carry a good clean cloth for cleaning the equipment you use if your gym does not provide wet tissues for the same. You do not want to contract anyone else's skin diseases, do you? Just wipe the equipment once before using if the person before you hasn't. And wipe the equipment where you touch it after working out, so that the person after you feels clean.
You must be regular at the gym to see the effects it can bring about in your body. If you are looking to gain mass or weight, tuck in that tummy, look better and cheerful, the gym is the right place to visit for an hour every day. Going to the gym can help you gain confidence and also get rid of stress. If you get bored going to the gym all alone, try to find a friend who can be your gym partner. You could also purchase an mp3 player like the iPod shuffle or any flash drive based player and listen to your favourite songs while exercising. Purchase an arm band to accessorize with your mp3 music player.
Most of the gyms have television sets on their walls and loud music playing. Some gyms also have quiet sections where one can listen to their own music. Some people manage to catch up on their reading while doing cardio exercises like cycling, cross trainer, etc. Make sure you do the right exercises under the observation of a proper certified trainer. They may charge you initially for the training but it will be worth it in the long run. Also subscribe to some health magazines because those contain lots of tips and latest news. Make sure you have the right diet to complement your gym exercises. Only proper diet can help you achieve your goals with the right exercises. Following all these tips will help you build up a good and healthy body. Good luck.
Sports Nutrition